Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 1 of ALA 2009

Today I spent some time with Library Friends groups and other advocates. Not only am I constantly on the lookout for good speakers, but I also have to learn more about library friends and what they do. The president of the foundation of the St. Paul Public Library said that the best way to advocate for libraries is by direct contact: talk to your community, your business leaders, your legislators. We all do that, I know. I think talking to legislators in New York must be different than elsewhere. First of all, they actually go into session. But I spoke to an Illinois legislator who really knows how to listen and really cares about his constituents' concerns. He agreed with me that having patrons come and tell a story is more effective than having librarians lobby. After all we have a vested interest in our jobs. But we can't expect people with jobs and kids and busy lives to hop on a bus to Albany for a day. Maybe there is a place for YouTube videos. Tell stories and make movies?

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